I stumbled upon this amazing infographic from Atlassian, and it really got me thinking about ways to help those with time management issues.
Time management plagues everyone in one way shape or form, but there are small things you can do to minimize their overall interruption in your day.
40% of your work day is a huge percentage to throw away from your profits.
Let’s go through some of these problem areas, and give you an idea of methods that can reduce the distraction times and raise productivity.
Here are 3 time management tactics that you can use to get some of you work day back.
1) Set a time for emails
Emails are important, but you have to know when to do them.
Many people find themselves hoping from task to email and back. What they might not factor into their method is the time it takes to refocus from one task to another. That method does that twice, back-to-back.
Instead try to schedule a time, or multiple times, throughout your day where you sit down to think about and respond to emails.
Dedicating your specific time to the task of emailing will help you raise your response quality, and cut out a lot of refocusing time.
If it’s urgent to that extent, schedule a system for calling each other… Before it gets there.
Setting a schedule for emails shows sends a message too. When your recipients get your emails at scheduled times day after day, they see you have your days planned out. If your days are planned out, so is their account.
When you have your emails schedule, you cut out a lot of refocus time and crumby communication.
Ultimately, this practice can save you time and money.
2) Finding the Right Time to Meet
Meetings are great tools, but they are often overused.
This is often due to poor planning before the meeting. Sometimes the “fly by the seat of your pants method” works, but most of the time it’s a swing and a miss.
You don’t have to script everything about the meeting, but have a solid set up.
Know your overall objectives. What is going to get you to the next stage of your project? What is the overall objective? What do you need to get to that objective? When do you need those materials? Who is going to do what part?
Have everyone prepare what is needed to make the meeting productive. Try to keep it to one meeting. Sometimes this just isn’t realistic, but try to manage as much as possible without forcing meetings that just aren’t needed. You have to let ‘em fly sometime.
When you use these questions to structure your meeting, you are more likely to get tasks complete on an individual basis.
After filling out all the questions and assigning the tasks, you should be able to walk away with a visual idea of how the project will come together and advance to the next stage.
If your meeting is done right, you should be able to manage every other little detail in some other form up to the next step.
There are great free messenger systems for work like Slack, or fully customizable project management systems like Asana. Using both together is a great way to stay connected and on track because the two are integrable.
Oh and both are easy to use and free! (both have pay for versions too)
Stop over loading yourself with meetings and get some work done!
3) Avoiding Interruptions
Interruptions in the workplace can lead to the need to refocus, and sometimes you just can’t.
Managing these distractions can be as simple as tracking them along with your rate of productivity before and after the distractions.
That means know where the distraction came from, and if the distraction was actually worth the time spent on it.
Once you have a bit of data on your distractions, you can see when the most distractions happened, what caused the most distractions, and the level of importance the distraction held.
Try to morph these bits of data into a schedule for yourself. Available times, not available times, email times, no distraction times, dedicated writing times, and even some time to not do anything if you need it. Think it out, and find the schedule that works for you.
It might take a bit of time to get into the swing of it for you, but you will see improvements in productivity and a drop in distraction time.
Interruptions and distractions can happen all the time, and managing them isn’t always possible. The brighter side of the story is you have the power to minimize how many interruptions are able to affect you a day.
Planning your time is a great way to help yourself limit distractions, but remember not to get rid of you ability to be flexible. It’s that magic mixture you want!
Using these tips will help you find it!
How do you minimize your work interruptions? Share some secrets in the comments below!